Zinc lozenges are a popular cold remedy, but this unheralded mineral can do so much more. Zinc is required for more than a thousand different chemical reactions in the human body, which gives it a wide range of health benefits:
Zinc is essential for a healthy immune system, which helps ward off colds and other illnesses.
In combination with other antioxidants, zinc protects the eyes against blindness from age-related macular degeneration.
Zinc is an antioxidant that reduces chronic inflammation and may protect against atherosclerosis.
Older people and anyone whose digestion is sub-optimal may not absorb adequate zinc. In addition, a shortfall is more likely among people who don’t eat animal foods. Signs of zinc deficiency include:
Loss of taste and smell
Stunted growth in children
Poor mental function
Skin lesions (acne, eczema, etc)
Loss of appetite
Slow healing of wounds
Pica (eating dirt another items not meant to be eaten)
Studies have found that conventional medications for heartburn and high blood pressure deplete zinc. Heartburn drugs reduce levels of stomach acid and this, in turn, impairs the absorption of zinc and other nutrients. Two types of blood pressure drugs--thiazide diuretics and ACE inhibitors--increase excretion of zinc. Loss of taste can be a side effects of ACE inhibitors, and a study found that people who experienced the most loss of taste had the lowest zinc levels.
Oysters are the best food source of zinc. Beef, lobster, pumpkin seeds, pork, chicken, chickpeas/garbanzo beans, and yogurt are also good sources of the mineral.
For overall health, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of zinc is 8 mg for women (increased to 11 mg during pregnancy and 12 mg when breastfeeding) and 11 mg for men. Older adults with reduced ability to absorb nutrients may need more. The safe upper limit for healthy people is 40 mg daily.
Source: Better Nutrition, February 2019
Socca Pizza (Paleo Pizza)
(garbanzo beans are a good source of zinc)
1 cup garbanzo bean flour (Available at the Alternative Health Food Store)
1 cup liquid Bone Broth (Available at the Alternative Health Food Store)
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon garlic
Preheat oven to 425. In a medium bowl, mix all the pizza ingredients together and allow mixture to sit for one hour.
Pour pizza ingredients in skillet and bake for 5-8 minutes. Take out of oven and drizzle with olive oil. Add toppings and cook in oven an additional 10 minutes.
Allow pizza to cool for three minutes before slicing and serving.
Source: Adapted from AncientNutrition.com